The Lodge of Ondessonk and Tekakwitha Makes an Impact
Thursday evenings at Camp Ondessonk is a revered night to a special group of people. On this night, the Lodge of Ondessonk and Tekakwitha inducts its new members into its membership.
“Lodge is a service organization that we have here at Camp,” Senior Lodge Official Juni Mckown said in an interview. “It is dedicated to service at Camp, in the Lodge members’ communities, and around the world. We have members all over the place, so its just about spreading service and some of the values we hold”
The Lodge of Ondessonk and Tekakwitha began in 1957 before Camp Ondessonk’s official establishment at St. Phillip’s summer camp, which was what Camp Ondessonk grew from. Since then, Lodge has inducted dedicated campers, staff, and volunteers to help Camp and their communities thrive. Lodge members participate in service projects throughout the year as well as become ambassadors for Camp Ondessonk with the help of the Lodge Officials as well as their Councils.
“[Members] are impacted by being in Lodge for a lot of reasons,” said Mckown, “I think that a big one is that recognition that they can be a role model and a leader here. I think that that motivates a lot of kids to be that person that campers can look up to and to come back to Camp year after year and make it a better place, not only with their presence but their service.”
Camp Ondessonk provides Lodge members with a special session called Lodge Camp. Senior Lodge Official Sarah Petrowitch said: “Lodge Camp always happens at the last week of the summer. It’s super fun and only for Lodge members. They get to come and get to do super special programming no other campers get to do.”
Some programming for Lodge Camp includes: the High Jungle course, a Service Project, Goat Yoga, and other non-traditional camp experiences. While being allowed these opportunities, Camp Ondessonk expects Lodge Campers to uphold its values as well as be ambassadors for Camp.